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See more synonyms for inveterate on Thesaurus.com
  1. settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, feeling, or the like: an inveterate gambler.
  2. firmly established by long continuance, as a disease, habit, practice, feeling, etc.; chronic.
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Origin of inveterate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin inveterātus (past participle of inveterāre to grow old, allow to grow old, preserve), equivalent to in- in-2 + veter- (stem of vetus) old + -ātus -ate1; cf. veteran
Related formsin·vet·er·ate·ly, adverbin·vet·er·ate·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inveterate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But of all others, they are the most inveterate, which are produced on account of religion.

  • The result was, that he more than recovered his possessions, and died an inveterate miser.


    Samuel Smiles

  • But why then, will you say, are they so inveterate against it?

    A Letter to Dion

    Bernard Mandeville

  • Yet his inveterate surliness the rascal could not wholly conquer.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • The lower classes all over the country are inveterate thieves.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

British Dictionary definitions for inveterate


  1. long established, esp so as to be deep-rooted or ingrainedan inveterate feeling of hostility
  2. (prenominal) settled or confirmed in a habit or practice, esp a bad one; hardenedan inveterate smoker
  3. obsolete full of hatred; hostile
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Derived Formsinveteracy or inveterateness, nouninveterately, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin inveterātus of long standing, from inveterāre to make old, from in- ² + vetus old
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inveterate


late 14c., from Latin inveteratus "of long standing, chronic," past participle of inveterare "become old in," from in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + veterare "to make old," from vetus (genitive veteris) "old" (see veteran).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inveterate in Medicine


  1. Firmly and long established; deep-rooted.
  2. Persisting in an ingrained habit; habitual.
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Related formsin•veter•a•cy (-ər-ə-sē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.